Buying your first home in Utah can be SO exciting. You get to look at all these different homes, embark on a new chapter in your life in a new space and invest in your own property! On the other hand, I know that it can also be an overwhelming experience! Thoughts like, ‘Where do I start?…Who do I ask for help?…Am I doing this right?…What if I make the wrong decision?’ Hey, I totally get it. Those thoughts? Totally normal. 100%.
This is because buying your first house is one of of the many important decisions you’ll need to make in your life. For instance, choosing the right first time homebuyer program in Utah can seem complicated and overwhelming but I promise you, it’s really not. I’m here to help you!
So, let’s go ahead and unveil the process! I’m here to show you that if you follow the below 12 tips when buying your first house in Utah, you’ll be in GREAT shape! Let’s begin!
1. Start Saving for a Down payment Early
Some first time home buyer programs in Utah require that you pay a specific percentage as the down payment. No matter how small this percentage may seem, I highly suggest you start saving for that down payment early! Don’t wait. Every little bit counts! Some people like to save money in different ways. Use the method that works best for you!
If it’s traditional piggy bank, awesome! If it’s a matter of scheduling a time to transfer leftover change from your checking account to your savings, that’s great too. There’s no right or wrong way to save. It’s just a matter of getting started so you can build your down payment up!
2. Explore various home mortgage options before applying for one
When I go shopping, I like to browse my options – – whether it’s shoes, a new laundry machine, or even a new car, I like knowing what’s out there. You should also shop around when it comes to your home loan or mortgage options. Why? Because you’ll get a chance to work with someone that’s just right for you. By comparison, you’ll land on the home loan option that is best for you!
I always want to make sure my first time home buyers feel 1000% confident in every step we take towards buying their first home. Go ahead, check out the different pros and cons that come with various home loan programs and if you have any questions, I’m all ears!
3. Don't forget about the local assistance programs (great perks!)
Apart from the state-level down payment assistance programs, there is also a number of different local assistance programs to choose from. For first time home buyers, these first-time home buyers programs feature different perks (yay!!) These include the down payment assistance, closing cost assistance, tax credit assistance, and the discounted interest rates. Therefore, these assistance programs feature a significant savings for the first time home buyer.
4. Determine how much you can afford
Now that you have information on Utah housing first time homebuyer programs, it’s time to figure out how much home you can afford. This is a great exercise because you want to make sure you’re not stretching yourself too thin if the amount you finance for your home is too high.
What amount can you safely afford to repay? What is your ideal monthly mortgage payment that makes you feel comfortable?
Are you looking for a trusted mortgage lender? Check out The Staples Team at Sun American Mortgage and get a free quote from them.
5. Check your credit score
When you are applying for a mortgage loan, your credit score is one of the key components that are considered when finding out whether you qualify for the amount you want to borrow. Therefore, before you submit your application for the pre-approval, it’s recommended that you have a good idea of where your credit score is so you know what you’ll need to do to take the next step in financing a home.
Also, if you have a lower credit score, don’t worry! Let me know and I can put you in touch with the right resources to help you build your credit score back up.
6. Don't apply for new credit cards and add more debt
I know, I know. You’ve been eyeing that new credit card that offers TONS of miles! But I promise you, once the entire home financing process is done and done, you can do your thing and get that credit card or buy that new car that will go perfectly in your new driveway.
The reason why I suggest putting off applying for new credit cards and pausing large purchases is because you want to keep your finances consistent while you are applying for a home loan mortgage. Therefore, I highly suggest you put off any large expenditures at this time to ensure your home loan process is as smooth as butter!
7. Don't forget to compare rates
First time homebuyers in Utah get a rate quote from only one lender. This is not advisable even when you plan or are considering Utah FHA refinance. To save on your home mortgage, it is important that you compare the mortgage rates. If you are looking for a lender to get a rate from and not sure where to start, let me know! I’d be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
8. Get a pre-approval letter
A pre-approval letter is a letter from your chosen home loan lender that showcases how much money you could potentially finance your new home with. Because it is the PRE-approval letter, it is still an estimated amount.
What’s great about having this pre-approval letter PRIOR to searching for homes is that sellers could take you more seriously in your pursuit of buying your first home. It shows that you are ready to ROCK and know the amount you are able to finance.
9. Don't forget to hire an agent
Get an agent to help you find your dream home! Look, there is nothing wrong with representing yourself as a first time buyer. I respect that! At the same time, I know how much value I have personally provided to my past clients, especially first time home buyers. I have been able to seamlessly guide them through negotiations and home inspection which tend to be the last thing on the mind of a first time home buyer in Utah. 🙂
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10. Research the neighborhood
Home buyers should plan on investigating the neighborhood before putting their money on the property. Finding out about the neighborhood early enough is the best decision to make. Therefore, research nearby schools and look at the local safety and crime statistics. Where ever possible, buy a map of the local area and ensure you survey the entire area.
Also, referring back to #9, working with an agent can give you even more insight into specific types of neighborhoods. If you have a certain type of neighborhood in mind, let your agent know! Your agent will most likely have a toolbox full of information about the neighborhood you’re considering moving into.
11. Stick to your budget
Don’t get carried away by the new and exciting features you start seeing during your house hunting journey! Remember Tip #4 above? It still applies 😉 If it helps, perhaps you can write down your must-haves in the house and the features you could do without so you continue to not only stick to your financial budget, but also to your end vision of the perfect house.
12. Make an offer and prepare for closing
This is where it is helpful to have an agent walk you through the steps of making an offer on your dream house! If you work with me, I’ll make sure this is an easy process. The offer should be based on the amount you had pre-qualified for and based on the particular first time home buyer programs Utah that work best for your finances. Therefore, avoid making an offer if it is not within the amount you have qualified for. Involve the professional real estate agent Utah during the closing.
With the above tips in mind, you can be rest assured that you will enjoy the best deals for first time home buyers in Utah. Remember there are different Utah housing down payment assistance programs that enable homebuyers to save money.
Buying a New Home in St. George Utah for the First Time?
Check out our Essential First Time Homebuyer Guide! If this is your first time buying a new home in St. George, Utah, you won’t want to miss out on this FREE guide that was created by our team of expert realtors and builders. We made this just for you!